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You don’t have to be working as a lawyer in a charity to make a real difference. Neither do you have to have had years of experience. People at all levels of the profession are finding ways to use their skills, expertise and influence to change how things are done.
Sandie Okoro, who was appointed general counsel at the World Bank in 2017, is a great example of how corporate success can go hand in hand with making a wider impact in society. She has been a trustee of LawWorks and JUSTICE, and is a powerful champion of the importance of diversity and inclusion, becoming the first ambassador for the Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme in 2009.
Here are some other examples of inspiring lawyers:
- Mouhssin Ismail, who gave up a City lawyer’s salary to become a headteacher
- Brenda Hale, a role model for female lawyers
- Nelson Mandela, arguably the lawyer’s ideal
- Albie Sachs, who lost his eye and arm in the cause of fighting apartheid
There are many TED and TEDx talks on the subject of law and justice. See for example Bryan Stevenson’s TED talk on “We need to talk about an injustice”, one of ten on the playlist “The pursuit of justice”.
Swathi Sukumar spoke at TEDxNLUO on “Why should Lawyers in India do Pro-Bono work?”:
“It seems to be that there is actually no better time, as privileged citizens as we are, to do something more than is strictly required of us on a daily basis. As lawyers, we are all witnesses, mostly silent witnesses, to the crippling barriers that disadvantaged and marginalised people face in accessing justice.”
You can watch her talk here.